Marathon County Public Library

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Staff Reviews / Book Reviews

Check out these book reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring reviews of fiction and nonfiction for adults, children and teens! These book reviews also are published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.

"You Were Always Mom's Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives" by Deborah Tannen

'You Were Always Mom's Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives' by Deborah Tannen

★★★★ Having read and enjoyed a few of Deborah Tannen’s books and as a person with two sisters, I was intrigued about what she could reveal about these unique relationships. Tannen offers a linguist’s view ((Professor at Georgetown University) of how sisters relate. Specifically, she analyzes sister’s relationship issues using their conversations as her guide. Like all important relationships those of sisters are complicated and at times, ...

Reviewed by Marsha Y. Read more reviews of "You Were Always Mom's Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives" at Goodreads.com. »

"At the Drop of a Hat (A Hat Shop Mystery, #3)" by Jenn McKinlay

'At the Drop of a Hat (A Hat Shop Mystery, #3)' by Jenn McKinlay

★★★★★ This was probably my favorite book in the Hat Shop mystery series, the third book in a fantastic series set in London. It follows Scarlett and Viv, two loveable characters that run a hat shop they inherited from their grandmother. Their newest customer, Ariana Jackson, comes in hoping to get her mother's wedding hat restored by Scarlett and Viv, since it was originally done by their grandmother. But when Scarlett goes to ask Ariana about t ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "At the Drop of a Hat (A Hat Shop Mystery, #3)" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Seafront Tea Rooms" by Vanessa Greene

'The Seafront Tea Rooms' by Vanessa Greene

★★★★★ This was the coziest, most heartwarming novel I've read this year! Set mostly in a beautiful English seaside town, we follow three woman on a journey of friendship, discovery, and life altering decisions. Seraphine, who travels from France to be an au pair and practice her English gets a moment to relax in a quaint, seaside tea room. Charlie, at the Seafront Tea Room to research tea rooms across England for a magazine article that her care ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "The Seafront Tea Rooms" at Goodreads.com. »

"Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe" by Max Lucado

'Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe' by Max Lucado

★★★★★ This uplifting little novel is a quick and easy read. Chelsea Chambers is on her own, trying to put her life back together after her split from her NFL superstar husband. She finds herself inheriting not only the family coffee shop, but her mother's mountain of debt. Just when Chelsea thinks she has it covered, she discovers that her husband has not only cheated on her, but has also blown all of their money. Chelsea is desperately seeking ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe" at Goodreads.com. »

"We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story" by Josh Sundquist

'We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story' by Josh Sundquist

★★★★★ In his autobiography, Josh Sundquist asks each of the girls he "hung out with" since Middle School to see why they never went to the boyfriend/girlfriend stage. His background on each of the girls he liked, as well as his investigation is filled with humor and graphs. This book, for ages 12 and up, is an engaging book that causes one to think differently if you find your own boyfriend/girlfriend relationships aren't working out as you tho ...

Reviewed by Heather H. Read more reviews of "We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story" at Goodreads.com. »

"Batman: Earth One" by Geoff Johns

'Batman: Earth One' by Geoff Johns

★★★★★ "Batman: Earth One" goes back the beginning of the Batman saga, revisiting and recasting the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents and his eventual development into Batman. While the story remains basically unchanged, the brilliance here is in the details. Writer, Geoff Johns, creates a Gotham riddled with crime and hamstrung by political corruption on all levels. Bruce Wayne's father is in the midst of a mayoral race, but still takes the time t ...

Reviewed by Julie K. Read more reviews of "Batman: Earth One" at Goodreads.com. »

"An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green

'An Abundance of Katherines' by John Green

★★★★★ Colin Singleton is a highly intelligent child prodigy who finds himself repeatedly dumped by girls named Katherine. While on a road trip with his best friend, Colin seeks to prove a theorem that will help predict the future of any relationship. A wild boar, ten thousand dollars in cash, and other escapades add to the adventure of this coming-of-age tale. Filled with a perfect balance of irreverent humor and poignancy, this is a must-read f ...

Reviewed by Anna C. Read more reviews of "An Abundance of Katherines" at Goodreads.com. »

"America's Best Pies 2014-2015: Nearly 200 Recipes You'll Love" by American Pie Council

'America's Best Pies 2014-2015: Nearly 200 Recipes You'll Love' by American Pie Council

★★★★★ I am someone who will use any excuse to make a pie, and this book provided me with many new recipes and flavor combinations to try. This is an excellent book for both the novice and experienced pie-maker. The recipes range from classic recipes, such as the Lattice-Topped Apple Pie to the more experimental, like the Super Grande Mochachino Pie. There are also tips on making the perfect pie crust and how to ensure that your pie looks as wond ...

Reviewed by Anna C. Read more reviews of "America's Best Pies 2014-2015: Nearly 200 Recipes You'll Love" at Goodreads.com. »

"Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography" by Neil Patrick Harris

'Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography' by Neil Patrick Harris

★★★★★ Whether your favorite Neil Patrick Harris character is Barney Stinson, Doogie Howser, or Hedwig, this book is highly recommended. NPH models his autobiography after the "Choose Your Own Adventure" children's series, where readers make a choice at the end of each chapter that will change the outcome of the story. This book is full of humor and quirky details, and is definitely a unique format choice for an autobiography. I found myself pagi ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography" at Goodreads.com. »

"Dear Daughter" by Elizabeth Little

'Dear Daughter' by Elizabeth Little

★★★★★ Teenage Janie Jenkins is a LA celebutante - famous for nothing but her looks, her money, and her connections. Her life is perfect...until she is arrested for her mother's murder and sentenced to prison. Ten year later, Janie is released due to a technicality, but the entire world, including Janie herself, still thinks she is guilty. In this action packed thriller full of twists and turns, Janie tries to unravel the mystery of her mother's ...

Reviewed by Laura W. Read more reviews of "Dear Daughter" at Goodreads.com. »

"Night Diver" by Elizabeth Lowell

'Night Diver' by Elizabeth Lowell

★★★★★ The last thing that Kate wants is to leave her safety zone and reenter the world of the family treasure diving business, the same world that stole her parents from her when she was just 17. Unfortunately, her family is in trouble and desperately needs her help. Suspected of stealing the treasure they are commissioned to recover for the British government, Kate's family is facing the possible shut down of the dive they've been working their ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Night Diver" at Goodreads.com. »

"Echo" by Pam Muñoz Ryan

'Echo' by Pam Muñoz Ryan

★★★★★ This book is a masterpiece in its own genre—4 interconnected stories, each one masterfully told, and at alternating turns tearing at our heart and infusing us with hope. 40 years before the “war to end all wars” Otto purchases a book, stumbles into a forbidden forest and finds himself in the middle of a fairytale. He is entrusted with breaking the witch’s spell and securing the future of others to be free, to be loved and to belong ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Echo" at Goodreads.com. »

"Blue on Blue" by Dianne White

'Blue on Blue' by Dianne White

★★★★★ This beautifully illustrated picture book portrays an ordinary stormy, rainy day in the country that looks wonderfully extraordinary. The scratchboard illustrations with added watercolor paint by 2009 Caldecott Medal winner, Beth Krommes, are the real stars here. With repetitive, spare, dreamy words and illustrations we see a day unfolding--wash being hung on the line, fields being plowed, pigs rolling in the mud, loud thunder, drips dripp ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Blue on Blue" at Goodreads.com. »

"A Travel Guide to Life: Transforming Yourself from Head to Soul" by Anthony DeStefano

'A Travel Guide to Life: Transforming Yourself from Head to Soul' by Anthony DeStefano

★★★★★ This book is a call to be honest about your life and your search for happiness. It doesn't just focus on material wealth or shallow happiness but looks deeper into the spiritual level and the important role that a healthy spiritual life has on overall happiness. It guides us to love ourselves, treat our happiness and well-being from a holistic perspective, and to make a fresh start today in putting God first. I found this book refreshing, ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "A Travel Guide to Life: Transforming Yourself from Head to Soul" at Goodreads.com. »

"So, Anyway..." by John Cleese

'So, Anyway...' by John Cleese

★★★★★ Whether you know him as a Python or as The Pink Panther's Charles Dreyfus, chances are that at some point in your life, John Cleese has made you laugh. Easily one of my favorite comedic actors, John Cleese's memoir is a book that was worth the wait. From his quiet beginnings as the only child of older parents in a sleepy English town, to his adventures in school, and work as a teacher, we get a great view of the man who would become a star ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "So, Anyway..." at Goodreads.com. »

"That Part Was True" by Deborah McKinlay

'That Part Was True' by Deborah McKinlay

★★★★★ Eve Petworth and Jackson Cooper are strangers. They have never met and live in different countries. However, when Eve writes a letter to Jackson to compliment one of his books, a sudden friendship is developed between them over their mutual love of cooking and good food. Their correspondence continues as Jackson searches for direction in his art and meaning in his life, and Eve struggles with the loss of her mother and her daughter's impen ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "That Part Was True" at Goodreads.com. »

"Hug Machine" by Scott Campbell

'Hug Machine' by Scott   Campbell

★★★★★ "Whoa! Here I come! I am the Hug Machine!" starts this wonderful book about a little boy who hugs everything. He hugs people, animals, and even a fire hydrant and mailbox! He hugs hard things, soft things, square things and long things. But, can he hug a spiky porcupine or a humongous whale? The Hug Machine will do anything to give a hug. With simple and warm watercolor illustrations, this book shows how a simple act of kindness can change ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Hug Machine" at Goodreads.com. »

"Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress" by Christine Baldacchino

'Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress' by Christine  Baldacchino

★★★★★ Morris Micklewhite loves painting, dreaming of great adventures and wearing the tangerine dress in the dress-up center at school. He loves the way it crinkles and swishes when he walks and the color reminds him of tigers, the sun and his mother's hair. But the other boys and some of the girls tell him "boys don't wear dresses" and exclude him from their activities and lunch table. After he creates a wonderful painting and adventure the ot ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress" at Goodreads.com. »

"Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)" by Rachel Hawkins

'Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)' by Rachel Hawkins

★★★★ If you enjoy YA books with a strong female protagonist, give Rebel Belle a chance. Seventeen-year-old Harper is an overachieving, popular teenager at a private school in Alabama, until she witnesses a deadly fight at a school dance. Suddenly, Harper is given magical powers, including superhero strength from a dying Paladin, and a quest to protect an Oracle, who just happens to be a childhood rival. Comparisons to Buffy from Buffy the Vampi ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Strange Library" by Haruki Murakami

'The Strange Library' by Haruki Murakami

★★★★ In this fantasy from Japanese author Haruki Murakami, several people are imprisoned in a terrifying library, and must work together to escape. The illustrations and unique design of the book add to the reader's enjoyment, and help readers visualize the library and the characters imprisoned within its walls. It's a quick read, but Murakami still manages to tell a beautiful, albeit strange, story. ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "The Strange Library" at Goodreads.com. »

"Hero Complex (Keaton School, #2)" by Margaux Froley

'Hero Complex (Keaton School, #2)' by Margaux Froley

★★★★★ Devon is back at school following the holiday break, but she hasn’t been able to extricate herself from the repercussions of her first case. That task might be easier if she hadn’t been knocked out cold in the sole security blind spot on a yacht on New Year’s Eve. Devon is convinced it was no accident, but the lack of evidence to support her claim brings an end to the police investigation and leads the new school psychiatrist to beli ...

Reviewed by Rachel H. Read more reviews of "Hero Complex (Keaton School, #2)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Mobile Library: A Novel" by David Whitehouse

'Mobile Library: A Novel' by David Whitehouse

★★★★★ This was a randomly chosen novel that quickly turned into one I couldn't put down! Bobby Nusku spends his time carefully cataloging everything in his house while waiting for his mother's return. He wants her to know every detail of the changes made since she left. He collects hair from the carpet, pieces of her clothing, and even tries to recreate the scent of her by combining her products in an amateur chemist attempt to get it just right ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Mobile Library: A Novel" at Goodreads.com. »

"Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain

'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain

★★★★★ At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.Passionately ...

Read more reviews of "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" at Goodreads.com. »

"Escape Theory (Keaton School, #1)" by Margaux Froley

'Escape Theory (Keaton School, #1)' by Margaux Froley

★★★★★ Devon Mackintosh, a scholarship student at an elite boarding school on the California coast, never really felt like she fit in. Now a junior with her sights on Stanford’s psychology program, she starts her duties as a peer counselor. These duties are far more challenging than she anticipated when one of the most popular guys at school, Jason Hutchinson (“Hutch”), dies of an apparent suicide. As she counsels Hutch’s friends and reca ...

Reviewed by Rachel H. Read more reviews of "Escape Theory (Keaton School, #1)" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Dressmaker" by Kate Alcott

'The Dressmaker' by Kate Alcott

★★★★★ Tess longs to escape a life of servitude. She knows that her talent should make her more than just a maid, but her beautiful dressmaking skills go unappreciated and unrewarded by her current employer. On impulse, she grabs her few belongings and runs for the docks where she has heard there are jobs available on a fancy new ship that is about to set sail. Sadly, all the jobs are taken but she is determined to make this voyage happen. Her pe ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Dressmaker" at Goodreads.com. »

25 | Based on the Goodreads API.